Here’s What Colorado Looks Like 6 Months into Legalization

  • by Sabrina Fendrick July 1, 2014

    July 1st 2014 marked the 6 month anniversary of the launch of Colorado’s great social experiment – the legalization and regulation of marijuana for all adults age 21 and over.  News coverage of the state’s highly scrutinized, yet burgeoning retail cannabis industry has been lukewarm, but a review of the last six months shows that (although inconclusive in its early stages) this policy has not only failed to cause the reefer madness social breakdown predicted by prohibitionists, it appears that this new industry is starting to positively impact the state and its communities.

    Colorado is projected to save tens of millions of dollars in law enforcement expenses this year.  Job opportunities continue to open up and revenue is expected grow at an unprecedented rate – a significant portion of which has already been allocated to public schools and education programs.

     Below are five positive social and economic developments that can be attributed to Colorado’s 6-month old retail cannabis market:

    $69,527,760 in retail marijuana pot sales.

    10,000 people working in the marijuana industry(1,000-2,000 gaining employment in last few months)

    – 5.2% decrease in violent crime in the city of Denver.

    – No Colorado stores found selling to minors.  

    $10.8 million in tax revenue (not including licensing fees)


    All in all, these first few months have shown in practice that the benefits of legalization significantly outweigh those of prohibition, both morally and economically.   One can’t deny that there will be bumps in the road.   As this new market continues to evolve we should be prepared for the emergence of new, unanticipated issues.  However, one can be comforted in the fact that any rising concerns are being addressed and rectified in a responsible and expeditious manner – both on the part of lawmakers and industry leaders.  As Colorado moves forward, and more states begin to implement similar policies, the politicians and the population will see that this is the right policy for our children, our economy and our society.

    29 responses to “Here’s What Colorado Looks Like 6 Months into Legalization”

    1. Douglas says:

      I under stand that beer and wind sales are down 9.4 percent. I belive this is why V-Crime is down.With more and more cannabis stores opening up in Colorado u shuld see a drop i V-Crime. If they would pruduce a strain that is cheaper than the black market and cut down on the over tax u will see the blake market slowy go away

    2. Douglas says:

      The reasonwhy beer and wins sales are down is because booze heads have learn its beeter to get stone than drunk

    3. Army says:

      And what abaout negattive aspects? Is there any?

    4. Evening Bud says:

      I’m proud of the folks in Colorado. They’ve done a great job getting the legal recreational mj shops going, and keeping to all the rules.

      I’ve noted in another post that I went to Denver some 3-4 weeks ago with my wife. Besides seeing a Rockies game, we, of course, paid a visit (or two) to Denver’s version of a coffeeshop. As I noted in the other post, it felt like we were in a candy store, what with all the choices, and all the delicious smells.

      I wholeheartedly recommend going to that great state for a visit, if you can afford to. I’ve been to Amsterdam twice, and the feeling I had in Denver was similar: it was a distinct feeling of freedom. The fact that you can walk down the street, with 1/4 oz on you (a full oz if you’re a local), and not get bothered by “the man” is an indescribable feeling. If felt that way in Amsterdam, too.

      Amsterdam was better in that you could smoke there at the coffeeshop, or take it back to your hotel.

      Denver was better in that it is actually legal–unlike Amsterdam, where it’s essentially “tolerated.”

      For those of you who can’t afford to visit the Rocky Mtns anytime soon, keep the faith, your day is coming. I’m gonna give my Rep a call again soon. I’m also thinking of getting actively involved in legalization.

    5. Galileo Galilei says:

      I think among the biggest bumps on the road so far are the sweetened edibles. I like brownies and the long lasting, intense high, but little kids like brownies, too. I saw on CSPAN regulators are looking at eCigarettes and their use of flavors to appeal to children. The good news is a stoned kid would not OD and not develop a lifelong, energy draining addiction. On the other hand I keep hearing weed is bad for a developing brain. I’d like to see studies following the developmental progress of the children whose seizures respond well to marijuana.

      Incidentally, I saw DC is likely to have a legalization measure on the ballot this year. I also saw that a representative in congress had sponsored a Bob-Barr like amendment for DC’s new decriminalization law. Who would do this? My own representative Dr Andy Harris. The physician who responded to my medical marijuana letters by citing irreproducible studies from 30+ years ago.

    6. ArtyPete says:

      I think the biggest bump is the Federal Banking laws that make it hard for stores to do anything but a cash business. I understand that there are few banks out there that do do business and they are on the forefront of the next fight. I hope those in Colorado(like me) and Washington don’t give up the fight for the other states to have our kind of freedom.

    7. swennie says:

      @Gailileo, Andy Harris sent me 3 studies all of them over 30 years old and DOJ funded. His answer to my question about the un-regulated and unfettered access children currently have to cannabis was for more robust enforcement. Let’s ruin our children’s chances for jobs, and educational loans because Andy has friends in the pharmaceuticals business. Blacks are 3 times more likely to be arrested for possession in his district but represent under 20% of the population. He is not in my district but I will be supporting his opposition this fall. Prohibitionist like Andy Harris should not be allowed to self-serve his puppeteers.

    8. Julian says:

      Colorado got it right. Tax. Regulate. Spend the revenue on education. Wasnt it like the first $5 million that had to be spent on public schools? And the revenue has already doubled? Does anyone know if this revenue is paying for a defecit of funding for fire fighters that arose out of the federal sequester? Could the responsibility of Congress to deschedule cannabis ever be more clear and obvious leading up to elections? There’s a headline; “Marijuana Revenue Keeps Colorado Firefighters Looking for Smoke.”

    9. C Haines says:

      Soooo weed is paying for law enforcement instead of law enforcement being paid to confiscate weed. Ohhhh how the tables have turned hahahaha